Skip to main content

Study of 50 Minnesota lakes finds DEET, cocaine

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A new study of Minnesota lakes has fished out more evidence that the state's famed waters contain a wide variety of chemicals, MPR reports.

The largest study ever of its kind in Minnesota shows chemicals from household products, prescription drugs and illegal drugs are common in Minnesota lakes, MPR reports. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency scientists sampled water in 50 randomly chosen lakes across the state last year, testing for 125 chemicals.

See the entire study here.

The chemicals found in the lake waters were found in very tiny amounts, but scientists say that, put together, the chemicals can affect organisms in the environment.

A few examples: DEET was discovered in 76 percent of lakes in the state. Minnesotans frequently grab for insect repellent that contains the chemical that keeps mosquitoes at bay.

The study also found bisphenol A, a chemical used in plastics, in more than 40 percent of the lakes sampled. The steroid hormone Androstenedione was found in 30 percent of sampled lakes.

And cocaine was detected in one third of the lakes. It's not uncommon to detect cocaine in water leaving sewage treatment plants, MPR reports. Americans consume about 156 tons of cocaine a year, according to government estimates, about the same volume as one commonly used pharmaceutical, MPR reports.

Next Up

Kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

Minnesota, Wisconsin kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

The contest is divided into kids and teens divisions.


One killed after being trapped under UTV near Alexandria

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the victim died at the scene.


What's in the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden?

How the nation's biggest climate law will reduce emissions.

Patrick Henry High School

Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis will get new name

A school board meeting was held this week, discussing what's next going forward.

Mike Max

Mike Max is out at WCCO Radio

Max got his start at WCCO Radio in 1998.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

Uber passenger dies a week after fiery crash in St. Paul

Her Uber was struck by a suspected drunk-driver.


Target profits plunge as it takes hit from shedding excess goods

The retailer announced earlier this year it would be slashing prices.

police lights

Las Vegas man identified as victim killed near 38th and Chicago

The 25-year-old died at the scene Sunday afternoon.


Beloved Eagan Dairy Queen says goodbye

A summer staple has shuttered in Eagan.


Study finds chemicals from household soaps in Minnesota waters

A case study of Minnesota waters finds wastewater treatment plants are failing to remove chemicals from soaps and other household products. The chemicals are being released into the state's rivers and lakes. Scientists say at least one of them - triclosan - can be harmful to humans if it gets into drinking water.